Changes to the Saskatchewan Immunization Program have been outlined in updates to the Saskatchewan Disease Control Regulations and apply to nurses across the province including those working for the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) and others. Many partners are involved in rolling out the Covid-19 Immunization Delivery Plan across Saskatchewan, utilizing licensed and unlicensed health care providers to meet the human resource demands while providing safe client outcomes. The team-based approach means there may be some exceptions to current medication management expectations for RNs in relation to Covid-19 vaccines only.
Exceptions to usual practice are approved at the provincial level and supported by provincial and employer documents. Some exceptions that may occur include multiple health care providers:
- Being involved in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of the vaccine; and
- Preparing and administering the vaccine.
In practice this means there may be different care providers completing screening, reconstituting vials of vaccine, pre-drawing and labelling syringes, administering the vaccine, documenting, observing for anaphylaxis and responding when needed. The team-based approach supports a large number of health care providers working within their competence to complete components of the immunization process in a safe and timely manner.
Guidance for RNs working in Covid-19 immunization clinics include:
- Each health care provider competently provides care within their scope of practice or job description and is responsible for the care they provide.
- Agency policy provides direction to RNs and other health care providers when exceptions to practice are in place.
- Gaps or unsafe conditions may exist, and RNs are well positioned to identify, report and offer solutions to address these situations.
- Collaboration and communication are fundamental to effective team functioning and for delivery of safe care.
If you have questions, please contact an CRNS Practice Advisor by phone at 1.800.667.9945 or 306.359.4227 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.